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The era has ended. The torch that has once burned so brightly is no longer lit. There is a new king in town. Use any cliché you like, but the tennis world has a new No. 1 in the eyes of many as Rafael Nadal upended Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7 in one of the most thrilling, dramatic finals in the history of the sport.

With the win, Nadal has now taken down Federer in two straight Grand Slam finals and he also ended Federer’s reign on the top on grass, ending his 65 match winning streak on the surface.

The two players endured two rain delays and darkness toward the end of the match, but neither player showed an ounce of fatigue and both played their tip-top game, hitting one remarkable shot after another.

I am always on the “Federer is losing it,” bandwagon, but yesterday’s match was more a case of Nadal winning and less of Federer losing. Both players played at the highest level and it was a shame to see either player have to leave the court a loser.

What does the future hold? I fully expect much of the same. Grass is Federer’s wheel house. We know Federer can not touch Nadal on clay, so if Nadal is catching him on all the other surfaces, too, Federer’s chance to catch Sampras’ record of Grand Slam titles is in major jeopardy.

Either way, what a rivalry for the sport of tennis to have.

Today is Football Monday for those of you keeping track. I decided to switch gears with the way we handle Monday, though. What I will do from this point forward is rather than preview full teams which is pointless right now, because injuries and other things can halt that, I will give conference position rankings.

So today, I will give you my team QB rankings.

1. Florida – This is an easy one. When you return the Heisman winner, you get to be No. 1 in your position rankings inside of your conference. Barring an injury to Tim Tebow, the Gators’ stud will look to build on his masterful career that has set the modern standard for dual threat quarterbacks.

2. Georgia
– Matthew Stafford rebounded from a sub-par freshman season this past season and led the Dogs’ passing attack to the tune of 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Expect more progression this season.

3. Arkansas – To show how much of a down year it is for quarterbacks in the league, Casey Dick comes in at No. 3. Dick did have a good season last year and threw for 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. With offensive guru Bobby Petrino calling the shots, we expect the Hogs to air it out more this year.

4. Alabaam – John Parker Wilson has had many growing pains throughout his career, but he is one of the league’s elder statesmen. Following a 2846 yard campaign, Wilson can be as good as anyone in the league on any given day. He can also be as bad as anyone in the league, too, though.

5. Tennessee – Jonathan Crompton has yet to be the full-time starter in Tennessee, but he has shown strides in two seasons of reserve work. His good week and accurate arm make him this year’s Matt Flynn of the SEC: long-time backup turned starter.

6. South Carolina – Blake Mitchell and Chris Smelley were not great individually for the Gamecocks, but as a duo, they combined for nearly 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Ole Ball Coach wants to throw the ball, so these guys better be ready to handle the load.

7. Vandy – Oklahoma native Mackenzi Adams really found his groove late in the season for Vanderbilt, giving them their best QB play since Jay Cutler left the program. It’s a shame he does not get more protection from a miserable offensive line.

8. Mississippi State
– Michael Henig is probably the most talented of the Bulldogs’ quarterbacks, but he is still rattled from a six interception game to open last season. In his absence, Wesley Carroll played decent football down the stretch for the Bulldogs, throwing nine touchdown passes.

Incomplete – Not enough information to judge:
Ole Miss, LSU, Kentucky, Auburn

It’s down to two in our SEC football coaching list and boy, this one was tough. It was a battle between two younger, new blood SEC coaches and a battle of two guys who won national titles in their first few years with their new teams.

So I considered the two’s work at their current jobs a wash and went to their previous jobs where in my eyes one man had a decided advantage over the other.

So for today’s No. 2 coach, we stop in my home land of Baton Rouge.

No. 2 coach: Les Miles

Miles spent two decades from 1980-2000 serving as an assistant coach on both the college and pro ranks, before taking over an Oklahoma State program in 2001 that was in desperate need of new blood following several straight losing seasons. Following a 4-7 opening campaign, Miles turned the tides in Stillwater, winning 24 games over the next three seasons, earning him the call to replace Nick Saban at LSU in 2005.

With the Bengals, Miles has seen it all from hurricanes to controversial quarterbacks, but the LSU three-year man has had one constant: winning. In his three seasons in Baton Rouges, Miles has raked in 11 or more wins in each season, including the 2007 BCS National Championship this past season.

Again, like with Saban, on any given day when asked, I might say Miles is number one. But I feel that my number one coach has shared the same SEC success as Miles, while having more success at previous levels, thus giving him the nod. But this is like splitting hairs and you can not go wrong either way.

It’s no secret who No. 1 is, but stick around tomm to find out what I have to say about him.


Sabathia to Brewers close to complete
– So the Brewers better win the World Series this year, because they guaranteed today that they will not win it anytime soon after this year. Now the Brew Crew have limited prospects AND the risk of losing TWO ace-level pitchers in CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets. No pressure boys.

A-Rod’s wife filing for divorce – I don’t know what it is about A-Rod, but for whatever reason, the modern media will never let us appreciate him for the amazing player he is, but rather focuses more on his big contracts and rendez vous in the streets of New York. I would feel sorry for the guy, but he had his chance to leave this offseason and didn’t, so it makes you wonder how much he really dislikes the punishment.

Kim wins second PGA Tour tourny this year – This young man has a real chance to step up and steal some limelight in Tiger’s absence. With the win, the 23-year-old Kim is now the first American born player under 25 to win twice in the same season. Put this kid down now on my short list of sleepers in both the British Open and PGA Championship.

That’s all for me. Happy Monday to you all.

Tuesday’s update will be short and late as I am going watch WWE Monday Night Raw live in the New Orleans Arena. Should be a blast!

All the best to you all,

Flickr Photos

July 2008